I sometimes get asked about having a wedding planner, and I can’t encourage the importance of hiring one enough!! But instead of me just telling you about wedding planners and all they do, I interviewed one of my favorite planners, Sarah Walters from Plan My Wedding Day! I’ve had the huge pleasure of working with her, and let me tell you- she gets the job done!!! I in no way am getting paid to do this, I just want to share how much hiring a planner can help brides!! Sarah stays on top of everything, keeps the day moving, and serves her brides to the fullest. So here’s an interview with her to show more about her role as a wedding planner, and give you a chance to get to know her more!
“Hello—I’m Sarah Walters, wedding planner based out of the Upstate of South Carolina serving Greenville and Southeastern US. I’m a mom of two boys who keep me on my toes. I also love decorating (which fits perfectly into helping brides plan their dream day) and just finished designing and building our dream farmhouse on a quiet little street. Between driving the boys to school, you can find me looking for fresh inspiration for decor and wedding trends, and helping friends and clients pick paint colors and furniture for their homes. I also seem to be in Hobby Lobby and Home Goods all the time.”
How did you get started in wedding planning?
“When my oldest was just a newborn baby, I had a friend ask me to come alongside her wedding director for the day to help with some of the bigger things that didn’t seem to be getting done. I absolutely loved the logistics and organization of that project. I knew right then that this was something that would bring me joy as well as serve brides and their families.”
What are some of the main tasks your job entails BEFORE the wedding day?
“A typical wedding for me starts about 8-10 months out from the actual date. (Although my day-of package has brides coming to me anytime from 2-4 months before the big day.)
I typically make a task list for the bride by month so that she knows what she needs to accomplish as the days come and go. For example: When to actually start designing the invitation, and then what week to put it in the mail. Or how far out to book hair and make-up and photographer (because the good vendors get booked fast)
I also will make a budget for the brides who choose my Silver and Gold plans. This keeps the spending on track and allows her to see where the money is going.
The bride and I meet face to face as well along the way so that I can make sure the lists are staying up to date.
My biggest job is to communicate with vendors (1: To secure them, 2: To get a price we all like, and 3: To keep them in the loop with the bride’s vision.) and to make the timelines. Timelines keep everyone on track for the rehearsal and wedding day. They are necessary and super detailed-sometimes down to the minute.”
What are the main tasks you take care of ON the wedding day?
“I start wedding days with the bride wherever hair and make-up are. I check in, make sure she has breakfast and something to drink. I gather up all that the photographer will need to take detail shots. (Shoes, jewelry, invitation, extra ribbon, special items, dress, etc.) Many times, I’ve got the steamer or the iron out too, to make sure things are fresh and ready.
Welcoming vendors as they arrive is next on the to-do list. I show them where things go or where they are setting up and make sure they have all the information they need to do their job.
Somewhere in there, a bride might need deodorant or a toothbrush, or an extra pin or needle and thread. All that and more comes with me to every wedding.
Welcoming the guys and getting their boutonnières pinned on, keeping the family calm and ready for the photographer, handing the cake artist the topper, scooting a table to the left or the right so that the lines are just perfect are all small things that I do to make the day seem effortless for the family. Most of the time I only sit for a brief bite of dinner. I stay with the bride until she and her new husband are in their get away car!”
How has your job as a wedding planner allowed brides to enjoy their wedding day even more?
“My brides always say that they never worried about one thing. I do my best to stay 3 steps ahead of all the vendors, the venue, and the bride and groom, so that anything coming is already in my line of vision and prepared for. My goal is to keep the family and bride and groom so relaxed that they don’t even realize the many, many things happening behind the scenes for the party to go on. They just get to be at the party.”
What would your advice be to brides who are on the fence about hiring a planner?
“When your special day arrives, you don’t want to be wondering if all the chairs are out at the ceremony, if the arch actually got delivered, if the favors are set out, or if each escort card is in alphabetical order. You actually don’t really have time for it anyway. 🙂 The best thing you can give yourself and your family is just the gift of being present with each other and soaking in every moment. Let someone else who is capable with 8 years of experience handle the details.”
Where can brides find and contact you?
I would be thrilled to meet for a free 30 minute consultation to see if we would be a good fit for each other!”
Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah!! Hiring a planner truly makes bride’s days easier, allows the bride to focus on what truly matters- saying “I do” and seeing their friends and family! AND it also helps me as the photographer to be able to focus on my job and allows me to be more creative!! If you’re on the fence, don’t hesitate to higher a planner or contact Sarah!